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Institutions & Practices

UNDERSTANDING HOW CARCERALISM OPERATES

112 posts in ‘Institutions & Practices’

public health

The Essentialism of Addiction

We must challenge the dominant carceral narrative that one is born an addict and a criminal—rather than constructed as one by those in power.

Michelle Smirnova

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public health

The Pain of Punishment

Criminalizing pain medicine has led patients to despair while the carceral state forces their medical decisions. But it has also opened avenues for solidarity between pain sufferers and incarcerated people.

Sonya Huber

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social control

Putting Reentry Out of Business

Reentry is an extension of the carceral continuum, a limbo between confinement and freedom.

CalvinJohn Smiley

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excerpt

The Embodied Observers

Carceral settings imprison an untold number of experts—outsiders on the inside who have much to teach us about mass incarceration.

Michelle Daniel Jones

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Crimmigration

Exploited No More

How organizing workers in immigrant detention can serve as a foundation for abolition and liberation for all.

Lisa Knox, Hamid Yazdan Panah & Serafin Andrade

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Beyond Reform

Why Incarcerated People Work

A new research project seeks to understand present prison labor conditions—and build a path toward lasting freedom.

Stephen Wilson, Minali Aggarwal, Jacqueline Groccia & Lydia Villaronga

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public history

The Buried Roots of Carceral Labor

The U.S. history of coerced prison work is older—and more northern—than its popular origin story tends to acknowledge.

Rebecca McLennan

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social control

Against ‘Work’

Calling incarcerated people 'workers' displaces the gravity of their situation and obscures the nature of carceral violence.

Ivan Kilgore

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In Depth

Forced Laborers

The carceral state molds and enforces worker compliance, vulnerability, and insecurity—both within and beyond prison walls.

Erin Hatton

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public health

Care and Carceralism

Disentangling medical care from policing, prisons, and other punitive institutions remains an imperative—now more than ever.

Ji Seon Song

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first person

No Leaving Rikers

For the scores of people who have suffered on Rikers Island, their experiences, and scars, of living through it remain long after release.

Graham Rayman & Reuven Blau

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Beyond Reform

Procedural Justice Isn’t Enough

In immigration court and beyond, fair process matters. But fair laws, fair legal systems, and fair societies matter far more.

Maya Pagni Barak

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Politics

Mass Incarceration on the Cheap

Fiscal arguments have only led to a reconfigured carceral state—one that replaces one type of punishment for another while still harming millions.

Jarrod Shanahan & Zhandarka Kurti

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Beyond Reform

Poor People Lose

Gideon v. Wainwright is the wrong cure for the reality that the carceral system is designed to target poor people.

Paul Butler

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A closer look

Choice of Counsel

People assigned a public defender are the only ones deprived of the right to choose their lawyer. This often intersects disastrously with racial bias.

Alexis Hoag-Fordjour

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books

Show Me Your License

For many immigrant families, even driving to school or the doctor risks a dangerous encounter with the punitive state.

Meredith Van Natta

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In Depth

Criminalizing Survival

The criminal legal system heaps more violence on victims of gender-based violence. Abolishing these structures is the only way to protect them.

Leigh Goodmark

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Local jails

Pretrial Injustice

Incarceration ahead of trial is fundamentally unjust—a form of punishment that makes it virtually impossible to fight for your freedom.

Cyrus Gray

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A closer look

Don’t Believe the Hype

Mass incarceration hasn’t ended in San Francisco, or anywhere else. To achieve that goal, governments would first have to devolve power to the communities it has harmed the most.

Sandra Susan Smith

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interventions

Brady ’s Failure

The rule was supposed to prevent prosecutors from hiding evidence. It hasn’t worked—but there’s a better way.

Thomas Dybdahl

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advocacy

Face to Face

The Visiting Room Project offers an intimate glimpse into the stories of Louisianians serving life without parole.

Marcus Kondkar

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book review

Bars and Barriers

Far from a plan for decarceration, 'Barred' is nonetheless a trenchant look at how the criminal system fails the innocent and guilty alike.

Abbe Smith

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interventions

A Weapon of Last Resort

It's high time we reconsider the power and promise of hunger strikes — without denying the tactic’s radical, disruptive, and self-violent character.

Candice Delmas

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Decarceral Pathways

Revoking Probation

After years of working in the system, a reformer and believer in government gives up on probation and parole.

Cristian Farias

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In Depth

To Free Them All

The carceral system criminalizes and retraumatizes survivors at every step. Dismantling these structures is the only way to end this violence.

Leigh Goodmark

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Institutions

Pretty and Punitive

For all its aesthetically pleasing attributes, Norway’s Halden Prison is still a prison for the men who must endure it.

Ashley Kilmer & Sami Abdel-Salam

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In Depth

Jail by Another Name

The rise of pretrial e-carceration in San Francisco has created a new class of people for whom freedom remains elusive.

Sandra Susan Smith & Cierra Robson

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Surveillance

Debt Trapped

The growth of electronic monitoring has spawned a quagmire of hidden fines and fees from which people need a way out.

Tim Curry & Tanisha Pierrette

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excerpt

Repression and Backlash

The tangle of policy responses following the 2020 uprisings over police violence shows that both Republicans and Democrats failed to meet the moment.

Elizabeth Hinton

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Crimmigration

Court-Assisted Expulsions

Immigrants fighting their deportations need lawyers. That doesn’t mean federally funding their defense should be a movement goal.

Angélica Cházaro

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